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Thread: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

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    Chairman of the Boards 90'sNBARocked's Avatar
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    Default Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    http://www.vigilantsports.com/2017/0...acers-new-era/

    A little more than three months ago, Lance Stephenson was on his couch in Brooklyn rehabbing an ankle injury. He had just come off a part-time, non-guaranteed job — a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    He began the 2016-17 season with New Orleans. Played six games, needed surgery to repair a torn groin (ouch!), and was waived. Then, he joined Minnesota on a 10-day contract. Played six games, suffered a grade II ankle sprain, and did not get another contract.

    Stephenson longed to get back to Indiana. During his rehab, his representatives checked in with the Pacers each month to see if the time was right.

    “Man I could fit in so well right now,” he kept thinking…

    Stephenson, meanwhile, caught as many Pacers games as he could. He missed Indiana … “home,” as he calls it. He had sold the house from his first stint, but he still had plenty of roots and good friends in Indy. It’s where he grew up and where he earned his first paycheck. He stayed in touch with ex-teammates via text and video games.

    Then in late April, Stephenson’s iPhone rang. (Despite leaving Indianapolis in 2014, he had kept his 317 number.)

    “‘Hey, Lance … you ready?’

    “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m Born Ready. Don’t every ask me am I ready.’ So I got the call and I’m like, ‘I’m going back home?’ I was so excited.”

    Fast-forward to the end of July. To the near-west side of Indianapolis on a warm summer day. The Pacers were set show off their new branding, which included new uniforms, court design, and secondary logo.

    The first player to take center stage was Stephenson. Then four others joined him.

    Finally, the much-anticipated Nike uniforms were unveiled — first on video — and Stephenson served as the model.

    With so much roster turnover, just six guys remain from last year, Stephenson was the face of this new campaign.

    “It feels awesome,” Stephenson says of his new circumstances. “I’ve been working really hard and I can’t wait ’til this season starts. I’m just happy.”

    As Lance says, “The fans love Born Ready.”

    Although he has an endorsement deal with AND-1, you would think he’s with Nike for how much praise he gave to the new uniforms.

    Like they’re so light that “I feel like I got nothing on,” which led to laughter from the half-dozen media members surrounding him.

    Stephenson, by the way, is on an offseason health kick. He’s dropped six pounds and intends to lose seven more.

    “I’m almost there,” he said. “The game is changing. Everybody is quick, everybody is explosive running up and down. The game has definitely changed and I need to fit into that category.”

    The other real option to promote the uniforms would have been 21-year-old Myles Turner, who has been in the league for two seasons. At this point, he’s the only one seemingly guaranteed a starting position for 2017-18, but Pacers officials also don’t want to put too much pressure and responsibility on Turner just yet, despite him being mature beyond his years.

    Lance is electric, he’s captivating. You don’t want to turn away. His number one strength and number one weakness is the same: His emotion.

    “When Lance came back last year at the end of the season, he really gave a jolt of energy not just to the team, but also to the fan base,” Todd Taylor, the Chief Marketing Officer of the Pacers, said. “I think it’s interesting, there were differentiating opinions from both sides earlier on, but I think like all of us in like, when you have a little bit of perspective and distance, you find out that this is where you should have been all along. We love the edge that he brings, the energy. He’s been great in the community, he’s been great for us.

    Glenn Robinson III, who is from Gary, Indiana, understood all the love for Born Ready.

    “It’s crazy,” said teammate Glenn Robinson III. “I told him that earlier. I said, ‘No matter where you go in Indiana, you’re always loved.’ These people love him, like right now.

    “That’s what I love about his game and really respect about him. Every day he comes in with that amount of intensity.”

    Playing in six regular season games last spring, Stephenson provided the Pacers with a much-needed jolt of energy to an otherwise stale locker room. True team chemistry was absent all season. For whatever reason, and most likely too many guys with the same personality, they never clicked.

    With Stephenson and a late-season surge by Paul George, the Pacers won their final five regular-season games to secure a playoff spot.

    “We all know Lance is crazy,” Kevin Pritchard said in May after being promoted to president of basketball operations. “When we met with him, he was so hungry to get back here. And he was so appreciative to be back at the place where he had success. I think everybody felt the lightning bolt that came back into the arena when he stepped onto the court.

    “We don’t make the playoffs if Paul doesn’t amp his game up the last six weeks and we don’t sign Lance.”

    What the Pacers gave to Stephenson was confidence. Like none of the other five teams he suited up for, the Pacers allowed Lance to be Lance. Take the good with the bad, support him through and through, and allow for him to play with the ball.

    “When your teammates believe in you and the organization believes in you, the game becomes easy,” Stephenson said after signing a three-year deal to return. “… When you got a coach that is behind you and an organization that is behind you like that, you get your confidence back.”

    Across social media, there had been a push to bring Lance back. To bring him home. I must have received a question about him at least once a week. He had hoped for it to happen last summer, to no avail.

    Stephenson, the acting face of the franchise, is a good lesson on two fronts: Don’t leave a good thing, and be persistent. It ultimately paid off.

    “During the whole process, all of the Pacers fans were like, “Man, forget that team. Come here.’ So the whole time, Pacers fans were on me. ‘You’re going to come back, don’t worry. Just get through this year, you’ll come back.

    “And I’m here.”
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    The other real option to promote the uniforms would have been 21-year-old Myles Turner, who has been in the league for two seasons. At this point, he’s the only one seemingly guaranteed a starting position for 2017-18, but Pacers officials also don’t want to put too much pressure and responsibility on Turner just yet, despite him being mature beyond his years.
    I enjoy Lance as much as any fan, but this part is what I'm taking away from the article. Myles is naturally very charismatic and intelligent, while also being probably the most talented guy on the roster - this will be his team. But I'm REALLY glad the franchise is allowing it develop rather than forcing it upon him. He's clearly taken the initiative in many ways, and I think as he continues to develop, he'll grow into the role. He's certainly fiery on the court also and can play with tons of emotion. As that balances out and he harnesses it properly, it's going to help him take that team leader role.

    For now, Lance is the loudest, proudest Pacer we have, and he's the last tie to the ECF teams, so it makes some sense. Polarizing figures aren't always the best leaders, but they do generate buzz and interest - from Trump to Lavar to Pat McAfee, loud and outlandish gets a lot of attention. After last year's snooze fest, I'll take a season of entertainment from Born Ready, and let Myles take his time and take over this team when he's ready.
    It's a new day for Pacers Basketball.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.
    not even a smidgen ?
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    What if lance came flying out the gate this year. Averaging 20/6/6 on the season. Leads pacers to the playoffs. Makes the all-star team. Not saying it will happen, BUT WHAT IF?!?!?!
    Lifelong pacers fan

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.
    Have you been checked for a pulse recently?

    Seriously though, this team is going to have some struggles. When it does, it will certainly help if it also has some enthusiasm, energy, excitement and is entertaining. Lance helps to bring those things to this team. I can also picture him being the guy most supportive of the youngsters/rookies on the roster as they figure out their game. And that will be big.

    And, like it or not, he IS talented.
    Last edited by Tom White; 08-01-2017 at 01:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.
    I LOVVEE me some Lance. He's the straw that stirs the drink. He is also an absolute beast in transition. Expecting him to lead a team is asking for trouble, but he is most certainly a key ingredient to a winning culture.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    What I love about Lance is that he admits to the mistake of leaving Indiana and doesn't feel like Indiana owes him anything. There are not many players in the association who feel like they owe the community something.

    I'm onboard the Lance train.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    I love that he's locked up for 2 full more seasons @ just $4.2 million per season. Bargain. And unless we don't want him (Larry's not in charge anymore) then he's going to want to resign & probably finish his career here. Lance turns 27 next month on the 5th. So he'll be 29 when he's due up. Lance is good enough to start but he's going to come off the bench....that's how deep we are. Can't wait for this season to start. First NBA preseason game is just 60 days away, September 30th MIN @ LAL

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Lance is going to break so many hearts this year. The mere fact that anyone would suggest that he's the face of the franchise shows how low we've sunk.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    I'm thrilled to have a fun player to watch who wants to be here actually.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by pacers_heath View Post
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    What if lance came flying out the gate this year. Averaging 20/6/6 on the season. Leads pacers to the playoffs. Makes the all-star team. Not saying it will happen, BUT WHAT IF?!?!?!
    Lance isn't projected to start right now. If he somehow averaged 20 6 and 6 off the bench that'd be nuts

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    Lance isn't projected to start right now. If he somehow averaged 20 6 and 6 off the bench that'd be nuts
    Serious question. Whose projection are you referring to? Has Nate or KP said something recently to confirm it?

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Face of the franchise??? who's left? everybodys gone, somebody has to be!!! it will play itself out. he will prove to be worth the excitement and the headaches he brings or he will be flushed somehow. Whichever way it rolls, lots of people will be around to say, "I told you so!!". Again, as many have said, we were a bunch of underachieving boring players drifting toward the end of the season. It should be fun and much more exciting than last year. of course, excpectations are lower....

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.
    Did he kick your dog or something ?? I can understand liking some players more or less than others, but your emotions on him are just ..... out there. Embrace it Bucko - he's here for at least 2 more years.

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    Serious question. Whose projection are you referring to? Has Nate or KP said something recently to confirm it?
    I mean, just look at the roster and the moves we have made. Report comes out, "Pacers looking at Lance to start at PG" and then they sign a PG and trade for one. So thats out the window. Then we trade for Dipo, who is making $20 mil a year, clearly going to start at SG. And Lance isn't' even an SF, but even to shoot that down, we go and sign Bojan and Nate says he's the starter. So where is Lance?


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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    And sure, Lance is a fan favorite, but the face of the franchise is the guy wearing #33 again.


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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    Serious question. Whose projection are you referring to? Has Nate or KP said something recently to confirm it?
    I was just basing it off of the team makeup.

    I imagine that the team views him as a 2. They've acquired two PGs, and Nate said that Bojan was going into the season as the starter at the 3.

    Unless Lance plays the 3 this year, I dont see where he starts

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by ilive4sports View Post
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    And sure, Lance is a fan favorite, but the face of the franchise is the guy wearing #33 again.
    The guy wearing #33 better show up when it counts. I didn't see him in the playoffs.

    In any event, this is Lance's team. He may come off the bench, but he will be there at the end of games because he's just better all the other players on the team. Sure, people want Myles to be better, but he's not. Dipo will be very good. We'll see what the pecking order is. Bojan and GRIII will get their time on the court but Lance will be more effective. Bank on it.
    Lance is finally home. Whether he becomes our starting PG or he's 6th man, he's getting big minutes and he's here to stay. #llortontnia

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace E.Anderson View Post
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    I was just basing it off of the team makeup.

    I imagine that the team views him as a 2. They've acquired two PGs, and Nate said that Bojan was going into the season as the starter at the 3.

    Unless Lance plays the 3 this year, I dont see where he starts
    I agree. I think they found their SG in Dipo. I think the rest is up in the air. We'll just have to see how it turns out. I think Lance will be better than Bojan and GRIII...and he will not get shorted minutes.
    Lance is finally home. Whether he becomes our starting PG or he's 6th man, he's getting big minutes and he's here to stay. #llortontnia

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    The guy wearing #33 better show up when it counts. I didn't see him in the playoffs.

    In any event, this is Lance's team. He may come off the bench, but he will be there at the end of games because he's just better all the other players on the team. Sure, people want Myles to be better, but he's not. Dipo will be very good. We'll see what the pecking order is. Bojan and GRIII will get their time on the court but Lance will be more effective. Bank on it.
    Lance will play both the 1 and the 2. He will finish games. It is time to put him at the point and see what we have in Lance. Bird thinks he is a point and I agree. I could see Collison and Joseph filling the 2 off Lance. I Was anti Lance coming back but he has matured some.
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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    The Pacers need to keep Stephenson for the rest of his career

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    The guy wearing #33 better show up when it counts. I didn't see him in the playoffs.
    he disappeared midway through the season into the playoffs

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    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BornIndy07 View Post
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    The Pacers need to keep Stephenson for the rest of his career
    He's home. He will be playing well into his 30's in Indy. Like a decade.
    Lance is finally home. Whether he becomes our starting PG or he's 6th man, he's getting big minutes and he's here to stay. #llortontnia

  45. #25

    Default Re: Lance Stephenson — face of the Pacers’ new era :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    You know that warm and fuzzy feeling many of you are feeling after reading that article. I feel none of that, none, zero, nada.
    I don't go this far, but I don't see Lance as the transformational leader that many do. The mini-Magic Johnson wheeling and dealing the Pacers to success this season. But I do think Lance has an NBA talent that can be used successfully if surrounded by the right kind of team mates, mainly shooters. If the Pacers can recreate the success Lance had at Memphis for 20 mpg, then he will be successfully used by the coaching staff. I fear that there is a fine line here. Too much court time, wrong mix of players, too much success, too little success, too broad a level of responsibility, the tinkering must be exact to get good play out of Lance. He has an NBA skill, but his quality of play falls off quickly when he has to do something that is not his exact skill.

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